Round ’em Up: Thursday

12 06 2008

It’s getaway day in Houston, and the Brewers will have Ben Sheets on the mound.  If the Crew can pull one out today, it will be a .500 road series.  That would certainly be a moral victory for Milwaukee after their performances on the road lately.

Unfortunately, the Astros have a history of being a Sheets-killer in Houston.  Lance Berkman has had Benny’s number his whole career, and so has the lowly Brad Ausmus.  We’ll see how it goes today.  After calling the Brewers would pounce on Brandon Backe last night, I’m feeling lucky again today.  Ben Sheets is due to have a dominating outing.  He’s been good the last couple outings, yes, but not dominate.  I have a feeling Ben’s going to come out with his A-game today.

  • J.J. Hardy tweaked his surgically-repaired left shoulder during last night’s game.  It has been an ongoing problem throughout the year for J.J., but he says he can play through it.  I wonder if another surgery will be in order this off-season…
  • Some of the readers here at BrewersNation have been wondering why the Crew hasn’t been running more often.  Look for that to change with Corey Hart at the top of the batting order.  Corey is looking forward to running more often.  Ned Yost, however, says the law of averages will cause the same number of runners to be on base ahead of Corey in the leadoff spot as when he batted fifth.  Yes, Ned.  Those averages that say Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder get on-base much more often than say…the pitcher.  Goodness…
  • In-Between Hops says its time for Milwaukee to make its move.  Alfonso Soriano is injured for Chicago.  Albert Pujols is injured in St. Louis.  The Crew is just about to start a 9-game homestand, while Chicago goes on the road.  The time is now, Scott says.
  • The Brew Town Beat is pleasantly surprised after last night’s game.  Something that has been overlooked is Jason Kendall’s monster home run.  It was not a cheap shot, either.  It would have gotten out in almost any park.  The article says that Corey Hart should stay at the lead-off spot after Rickie Weeks returns from injury.  Corey is the best protection behind Prince Fielder that Milwaukee has.  He is a run-producer that just happens to be fast.  We’ll have to see, but I’m not sold on the idea.
  • Between the Green Pillars writes about the Brewers starting to sign their draft picks.  It is reported that second-round pick RHP Seth Lintz will sign today with a $900,000 signing bonus.  That’s about $300,000 more than he’s slotted by Major League Baseball to receive.  I agree with the article when it says it’s nice to see the Brewers get their priorities straight and ante up the cash to get quality prospects in the system quickly.
  • Alex Eisenberg from The Hardball Times breaks down the swings of some of the top position players chosen in the first round.  He says that he likes the swing of Brett Lawrie more and more every time he sees it.  Lawrie loads his hands beautifully, which generates a lot of raw power.  Alex gave Brett a B+.  That tied for the highest grade given to a prospect on the list.
  • The Brewers plan on leaving Mat Gamel down in Double-A Huntsville throughout the year.  It is traditionally known as a pitcher’s league, but Gamel has absolutely dominated pitching this season.  The Brewers want to bring Gamel along slowly through the top echelons of the system.  I personally think its more because they want Gamel to work with manager Don Money on his defense more.  His throwing motion and his footwork has improved dramatically over the past year, and Don Money is a big part of that.  Doug Melvin and Gord Ash want to keep Gamel where he will flourish this season.  It will be interesting to see whether or not Gamel can make a run for a big league job in 2009.
  • CF Lee Haydel is the fastest Brewer in the farm system, hands down.  The Charleston Daily Mail reports that Lee is working on harnessing his speed and learning the fine points of the game.  He needs to hit the ball on the ground more and let his speed work for him.  The skills are very raw, but remember…you can’t teach speed.

Post of the Day has a great article on Mat Gamel.  I did not know this, but Mat was cut from his first Junior College team.  He was stuck behind a star in the Junior College ranks, and apparently thought about quitting baseball all together.  The article gives a nice behind-the-scenes look at what almost never happened for Mat.  He almost never stuck with baseball, and Brewers fans would be without Milwaukee’s best minor league prospect right now.  It’s funny how things work out for the best sometimes.




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